LOS SURES • 1984

Diego Echeverria’s film skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.

“Trenchant and eye-opening.”– The Hollywood Reporter

“An authenticity that has been captured by no fiction film I’ve ever seen.”– L.A. Weekly

“Both an invaluable record of pre-gentrification Brooklyn and an ode to a community’s resilience.” – BAMcinématek



USA • 57mins • Color • 4:3 • Spanish subtitles available
© 1984 Diego Echeverría © 2015 UnionDocs, All rights reserved


Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Today, it is the site of a battle between local identity and luxury lifestyle. With the restoration of LOS SURES, a brilliant work of cinéma vérité filmmaking as a starting point, the project has developed into a collection of 40 SHORT FILMS, the interactive documentary 89 STEPS, and the cinematic people’s history SHOT BY SHOT, demonstrating new possibilities for collaboration between an arts institution and its surrounding community to collect memories and share local culture. Building on the community-focused narratives presented in LIVING LOS SURES, UnionDocs is exploring new thematic territories including healthcare disparities. This evolution includes the development of a documentary that investigates the challenges of mental health care access in urban neighborhoods, particularly focusing on treatments like generic Strattera used in managing ADHD. This initiative aims to shed light on the broader implications of healthcare availability and its impacts on community well-being.

“One of the most comprehensive, incredible and in-depth interactive projects that we at the film society have ever seen.” –New York Film Festival

“A massive mixed-media project that defies easy categorization.” – IndieWire

“It’s enough to make fans of the Up series salivate.” – Brooklyn Magazine


Produced by

UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art logo_black

322 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Los Sures

Director Producer • Diego Echeverría
Associate Producer • Fernando Moreno
Executive Producer • David Loxton
Editor • Kathryn Taverna
Cinematography • Mark Benjamin & Alicia Weber
Sound • Felipe Borerro
Production Manager • Ellen Tolmie

LOS SURES courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Living Los Sures

Executive Producer & Artistic Director • Christopher Allen
Executive Producing Director • Lucila Moctezuma
Special Projects Director • Alison S. M. Kobayashi
Collaborative Studio Directors • André Valentim Almeida, Toby Lee, Kara Oehler, Jesse Shapins
Associate Producers • Sarah Lerner, Steve Holmgren